Veteran catcher Jason Castro reached an agreement Tuesday with the Minnesota Twins on a new contract.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports cited a source and reported the news. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that it was a three-year, $24.5 million deal.

Although Castro’s overall statistics, including a career .232 average, don’t jump off the page, it’s important to remember evaluating catchers requires grading on a curve. The number of impact hitters at the position is limited, which makes his power potential more valuable.   

The 29-year-old backstop has racked up double-digit home runs in four straight seasons despite not playing more than 126 games in any campaign. His best season came in 2013, when he finished with 18 long balls and a .350 on-base percentage.

Those types of numbers are hard to find at the catcher spot, and that created a little more intrigue around his status entering the offseason, though he had a .307 OBP with 11 homers in 2016.

In September, he didn’t rule out a return to the Astros, but he made it clear he wanted to explore the possibilities, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.

“It’s kind of a weird feeling coming down to the end here,” Castro said. “It’s been a great six-and-a-half years here, and I’ve really enjoyed everything about it. But the future’s kind of up in the air, so we’ll see what happens.”

In the end, Castro decided it was time for a change of scenery after spending his entire career so far in Houston. The Astros may look to move Evan Gattis behind the plate to fill the void because it’ll be easier to fill a hole at designated hitter than it would be at catcher.

Catchers always require some additional off days due to the wear and tear of the position, but Castro still needs to stay more involved to make the new deal pay off. He played in just 113 games last season, compared to 139 for the Kansas City Royals‘ Salvador Perez, a top-tier option.

That said, it’s still a solid investment for the Twins given the catcher’s power upside. They’d like to see him move back closer to those 2013 numbers going forward, though.


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